My interview with Falko Brocksieper and Mia Grobelny
07.01.10 | No Comments

Falko Brocksieper at the Bunker December 12, 2009 – photo by Seze

This Friday July 2, Falko Brocksieper and Mia Grobelny will be playing at The Bunker (where I am the hostess and photographer). We are very excited to have them back in Brooklyn and I was lucky enough to have some time to talk to them before the party. Sub Static is a label run by Falko Brocksieper and Mia (Michaela Grobelny) that was Founded in 2000. In 2004, they moved from Cologne to Berlin. Both of their sets from the last Sub Static night at The Bunker in 2008 became very popular Bunker Podcasts.
Full event info and bios.

Q. I know that there are some exciting new developments brewing at Sub Static. Do tell…

MIA – Yes we’re actually relaunching! The last release on Sub Static came out almost two years ago. At that time we felt quite burnt-out about label business, after having put out about 100 releases on our two labels. Also myself, I had to slow down a bit, after I did so much travelling and performing with my last album. I’ve been in the studio ever since, but experimenting a lot and not pressuring myself to get stuff finished. Finally, I have a new 4-track EP due to be released in about 3 weeks on Sub Static …

FALKO – …which is a really strong one I believe. It’s incredible how much great music is slumbering on her hard drive, mostly about 90% finished. Some of that had to be released. After that, we’ve scheduled two digital compilations of remastered Sub Static tracks. Each of us will be compiling one.

Q. MIA and Falko, can you tell me a bit about how Sub Static was began and how you first met. I know it was almost like “music love” at first for MIA because they day she met you she suggested you collaborate together.

MIA – True. It was a really empty party in Cologne and we were both there to DJ. It was quite boring so finally I walked up to Falko and said “Hey! Do your records fit with mine? Maybe we can play together?” – the records fit, and that was the start of it.

FALKO – And at that time neither of us were really part of the Cologne scene or anything. We were just two bedroom DJ’s making our the first steps into music production. The launch of our own label was a pretty spontaneous decision, we had no clue how it worked, and had even less of a plan or goal for it. It just all happened little by little. We never thought that ten years later, we’d give an interview prior to our return to the best techno party in New York City!

Q. Falko, you start your mnml.ssgs 90’s mix (listen to the mix here) with a Mouse on Mars track, who are also from Cologne. Are they friends of yours? What was the techno world like in Cologne when you were there and how does it compare to where you live in Berlin today?

FALKO – One guy from Mouse on Mars studied at the same media art academy in Cologne as me, but we don’t know each other personally. However, Mouse on Mars is a pretty good example of how vibrant and advanced the electronic music scene was when I moved there in 1997. There were a lot of underground venues and labels and producers everywhere. I don’t know what happened, but almost none of that is left there today. Of course there are still many producers and labels doing stuff, but the reputation of Cologne definitely hails from the past. So at some point we were looking for something new, a change. That’s why we moved to Berlin in 2004. It’s hard to compare the two cities.

Q. I know you both really enjoy many genres of music, outside of house and techno. MIA, last night you played a brand new rough track for me that was mostly your voice and guitar. Have you always been diving into new genres? What other non techno records you been listening to recently?

MIA – For me it’s hard to sit down and say: Now I’m going to write a peaktime techno track of this and that direction. Maybe I do sometimes, but then unfortunately the final result is still going to turn into something completely different. First off, I have a love for strong moods and melodies, and initially the process of making music is something I just do for myself, for my own private enjoyment. So there is no direction I’m pushing it towards for the sake of marketing or anything like that. But of course I enjoy techno too, and if I happen to make techno tracks, that’s when I release a techno record. As for music I’m listening to lately, I really like Phoenix, Little Dragon, Turin Brakes and Jamie Lidell just to name a few.

FALKO – I’m probably a bit more biased by a final result I’m aiming at when I make music. But I have quite a wide range. I’ve made some melodic electro recently, something I wish more people would cultivate. Unfortunately the stuff that’s not easy to play in the average club is mostly hard to sell and thus hard to release. I guess this is why 90% of the club tracks sound all the same today, and ironically everyone is complaining about it.

Q. MIA, you are one of the few women I know in techno who has written and produced an entire album all on your own. What are your thoughts on “artists” who have other people produce their records for them?

MIA – Well there are a few others too, such as Chloé, Ada, Dasha Rush and AGF. Generally I think it’s just a question of what your skills and interests are. I can personally get a lot out of the process of producing music. It’s a good way to capture and alter my feelings. Lots of other women, like Ellen Allien, Anja Schneider and Bloody Mary, seem to see themselves more as an entertainer, and they’re more focused to stage themselves as a certain role model. It’s a great skill to be able to market yourself and organize your career like that. Sometimes I wish I had more of that.

Q. You have quite the American vacation planned. I hear you have a road trip planned from Colorado to California. What are some of the sites you are most excited to visit?

MIA – I’m very excited to get to see all the nature – Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley … but also Las Vegas should be fun.

– For us European kids this is a dream come true. I just hope we will survive all the attacks by snakes, bad lieutenants and nuclear bombs in the desert!

Q. What is your favorite place or thing to do in NYC?

– The only time I’ve been here so far it was raining terribly, and I just had one hungover day to spend. I’m definitely excited to see more. The MoMA would be great to visit, and I wanna take the Staten Island Ferry … other than that I’ll just go with the flow and consult our awesome hosts.

FALKO – My favourite thing to do just about everywhere is simply to walk and look around, without a specific destination. And I think New York is one of the best places to do that. Seeing small weird things along the road is much more appealing to me than any of the “must-see” stuff. I’m really looking forward to some days in New York again and get to know the vibe of the city better.

Falko Brocksieper at the Bunker February 1, 2008 – photo by Seze

Mia Grobelny at the Bunker February 1, 2008 – photo by Seze

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